Heal Our Planet Earth

8 good reasons for lynx reintroduction

Fellow ARAs,

Since I posted the piece titled "Lynx - Perfect Predator", I have received a couple of responses, one in all seriousness, "Well, the hunters would be all for bringing Lynx back so they can murder them. Pennsylvania has a Bobcat murder season and New Jersey is planning one."

Another was in jest, "Sorry, no can do - they would have to first earn their green card and ultimately, citizenship....we can't have more illegal aliens here! There are enough coming from the South - now from the North? What if they are working for Al Qaida?", to which I resplied, "Damn right. Not only do we Canadian ARAs stand up for the right to arm bears, we even support the right to arm Lynx!"

All joking aside (and I'm not sure that the latter was totally a joke either), there is a strong case to be made for the REintroduction of the "Canadian" lynx.

First off, it is "Canadian" because the Mexicans had wiped them out and the Americans had all but exterminated them. Check out theis map for their original distribution - throughout N.America all the way down to almost Central America. They are indigenous to the US as well as Mexico. (The Grizzly bear suffered a similar fate, and now, the American trophy hunters are killing what's left of them in Canada.)


In other words, they are not aliens to the US, but expats. They did not depart from the US on their own accord. They were all but wiped out (for their fur). They have a right to be there. And this right I see as a fundamental and inalienable right amongst all the rights due to the animals.

Second, the lynx is a natural predator of the deer, which I deem especially suitable as an ecological balancer in the absence of wolves and cougars. On the other hand, it is solitary, reclusive and unobstrusive; it avoids humans like the plague (that we are), and are hardly even visible to the casual eye. It has never been known to attack humans (except once or twice in self-defence when cornered). Unlike wolves and cougars, they do not prey on cattle (though they could prey on goats and sheep), so rancher objection can be expected to be lighter than that against wolf or cougar reintro.

Third, a common objection from ARAs on predator reintroduction is that we would just be providing the (fxcking) hunters something else to hunt. If we hold on to this mentality, we are subjecting and submitting our will to the blood lust of the (axxhole) hunters, and letting them dictate to us what we can and cannot do. Our job is to reintro the extirpated animals to their own rightful and historical home ranges, then protect them where they live, not to be intimidated by the hunters and tie our own hands in avoidance of future conflict. IMHO, the hunters should be confronted on this score, even just for its own sake, and be eventually and ultimately defeated. An they willl be, but first, we must start the fight. We are not just defending the animals from extermination by the hunters, trappers and poachers, we are attacking the hunters, trappers and poachers to exterminate hunting, trapping and poaching.

Fourth, the lynx, along with the bob cat, are being hunted, trapped and poached in Canada in large numbers, so, they would be no worse off back in the US than staying in Canada.

Fifth, translocating lynx from Canada back into the US will free up territory for young lynx, thus, the total population of lynx in N. America will increase.

Sixth, reintro of lynx into Colorado has been successful, as has the reintro of the bald eagle into the US.

Seventh, thanks to previous hunters, trappers and paochers, the lynx is now classified as endangered in the US. It will have to be downlisted before they can be hunted. We can fight the battle on this front for a long time.

Last but not least, from an AR point of view, it is not the Mexicans or the Americans that got them all but wiped out south of the 49th Parallel, it is we human beings getting them all but wiped out south of a certain artificial line-on-a-map, and I see it as a part of AR to undo what wrong we human beings have done to the animals. Specifically, we owe it to the lynx to restore its right to live where they had for millions of years, until just a few centuries ago when the Europeans invaded their homeland. And it is not up to the descendents of these Europeans to continue denying the lynx of this right.

Anthony Marr, founder Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

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